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Feb 24, 2012

U.N.-Arab League Syria envoy Annan has near-impossible job

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N.-Arab League envoy on the Syrian crisis, Kofi Annan, brings global stature and experience in conflict resolution to his new job, but averting a long and bloody civil war that could further destabilize the Middle East might be impossible.

Annan, U.N. secretary-general from 1997 through 2006, was appointed by his successor Ban Ki-moon and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby on Thursday after the U.N. General Assembly last week called for naming an envoy to push an Arab peace plan that asks Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside.

Feb 21, 2012

UN chief sees aid as first role for Syria envoy

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday he was working urgently to find a special envoy for Syria who would initially have a humanitarian role but would also seek a political solution for the violence-torn country.

Ban, who was asked by the U.N. General Assembly last week to appoint the envoy, told Reuters in an interview that he hoped to select an Arab who would represent both the United Nations and the Arab League.

Feb 16, 2012

U.N. assembly adopts resolution condemning Syria

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday by overwhelmingly approving a resolution that endorses an Arab League plan calling for him to step aside.

The resolution, similar to one Russia and China vetoed in the Security Council on February 4, received 137 votes in favor, 12 against and 17 abstentions, though three countries said their votes failed to register on the electronic board.

Feb 9, 2012

U.N.’s Ban says Arab League to revive Syria mission

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday the Arab League chief told him he intends to revive an Arab League monitoring mission in Syria, which has collapsed amid continuing violence there.

Nabil Elaraby asked for U.N. help with the project during a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Ban told reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council on a visit he just paid to the Middle East.

Feb 6, 2012

Anger after Russia, China block U.N. action on Syria

BEIRUT/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Western and Arab states voiced outrage Sunday after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have backed an Arab plan urging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power, and Washington vowed harsher sanctions against Damascus.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the veto a “travesty.” It came a day after activists say Syrian forces bombarded a district of Homs, killing more than 200 people in the worst night of bloodshed of the 11-month uprising.

Feb 5, 2012

Russia, China veto U.N. draft backing Arab plan for Syria

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia and China vetoed on Saturday a U.N. resolution that backed an Arab plan calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit, stalling global efforts to end his bloody crackdown on unrest after hundreds were reported killed in the city of Homs.

The high-level diplomatic setback came after world leaders and Syrian opposition activists accused Assad’s forces of a massacre in a sustained shelling of Homs, the bloodiest episode in 11 months of upheaval in the pivotal Arab country.

Feb 4, 2012

Syria “massacre” puts pressure on Moscow to back U.N.

BEIRUT/MUNICH (Reuters) – Syrian forces killed hundreds of people in an assault on the city of Homs, activists and world leaders said on Saturday, the bloodiest night of an 11-month revolt giving sudden urgency to a push at the U.N. to demand President Bashar al-Assad cede power.

As U.N. diplomats began meeting behind closed doors, U.S. President Barack Obama denounced the “unspeakable assault,” demanded that Assad leave power immediately and called for U.N. action against Assad’s “relentless brutality.”

Feb 4, 2012

Syria “massacre” puts pressure on Moscow to back U.N. action

BEIRUT/MUNICH (Reuters) – Syrian forces killed hundreds of people in an assault on the city of Homs, activists and world leaders said on Saturday, the bloodiest night of an 11-month revolt giving sudden urgency to a push at the U.N. to demand President Bashar al-Assad cede power.

As U.N. diplomats began meeting behind closed doors, U.S. President Barack Obama denounced the “unspeakable assault,” demanded that Assad leave power immediately and called for U.N. action against Assad’s “relentless brutality.”

Jan 31, 2012

Arabs, US urge UN council to act on Syria

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Backed by the United States, the Arab League and Qatar urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to take swift action to stem the escalating violence in Syria and endorse an Arab plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside.

“We all have a choice: stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the 15-nation council.

Jan 23, 2012

New U.N. council no more favorable to Palestinians: U.S.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Security Council dynamics are no more favorable now to a Palestinian U.N. membership bid than they were last year despite a partial change in the council makeup, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Monday.

In the teeth of strong opposition from the United States and Israel, the Palestinian Authority applied to the council last September for U.N. membership. But a committee to consider the application failed to reach consensus, and the Palestinians have not so far requested a formal vote in the council.

    • About Patrick

      "Patrick Worsnip covers the New York-based activities of the United Nations. He joined Reuters as a graduate trainee in 1971 and has had postings in Rome, Moscow, Warsaw, Tehran, Beirut and Washington as well as serving as London-based diplomatic correspondent and as an editor-in-charge on the London World Desk."
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